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Named GaNSiC, the project stems from the UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) ‘Driving the Electric Revolution’ challenge and brings together Custom Interconnect Ltd (CIL) and Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult (CSA Catapult). It is set to develop novel ways of applying Silver Sinter pastes to Wide Band Gap semiconductors such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices to optimise their thermal coupling and solve complex power module assembly.
Increasingly the adoption of WBG semiconductors that include Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices are revolutionising electric powered transport. Up until very recently these devices were bonded to a substrate using conductive epoxies or solders. The power densities of these WBG devices when compared with traditional Silicon (Si) based semiconductors such as IGBT’s have seen a step shift away from traditional methods of die attach to exclusively Silver Sinter die attach methods.
These devices were also traditionally wire bonded using heavy gauge wire/ribbon bonding which is both expensive and over a long period of time, unreliable especially at high temperatures. Going forwards to assist the next generation of Power Electronics, Electric Machines and Drives (PEMD), these devices will be double sided silver sintered. However, the application of the silver sinter paste is currently performed using traditional dispense / printed methods. Project GaNSiC is a 9-month project to develop a unique method of silver sinter paste deposition that is not limited by dispense / printed methods. This new technology will allow enhanced thermal coupling of WBG semiconductors in power modules and result in smaller, lighter and more efficient PEMD devices.
John Boston, Managing Director of CIL, commented, “We are extremely proud to be part of this pioneering project that will hopefully lead to better efficiency in all-electric engines and help accelerate the adoption of Automotive BEV and e-planes. We are already jointly working with CSA Catapult on the APC15@FutureBEV project to develop SiC based power modules for BMW. And we are also the manufacturing partner on numerous WBG projects. As the lead partner in GaNSIC, CIL will design and manufacture both SiC and GaN assemblies. The CSA Catapult will provide their circuit design and testing expertise to develop innovative testing and qualification process for realising the prototypes"
Martin McHugh, CTO and Acting CEO at CSA Catapult, stated, “Project GaNSiC started in November 2020 and is now due to run for nine months. It is funded by UK Research and Innovation.”